On Saturday, Dec. 10, GLORY held its biggest fight card to date, dubbed GLORY: Collision. The pay-per-view event featured a heavyweight mega-fight between current champion Rico Verhoeven and the sport’s bad boy, Badr Hari. The pair met at the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
The 27-year-old Verhoeven had won 10 of his last 11 bouts, including five straight title defenses inside the GLORY ring. Since defeating Daniel Ghita to earn the title at GLORY 17, he had bested Errol Zimmerman, Benjamin Adegbuyi (twice), Mladen Brestovac and Anderson “Braddock” Silva. The Dutchman defeated Silva at GLORY 33 on Sept. 9.
Hari, meanwhile, had won five straight, including four by way of stoppage. The 31-year-old Dutch-Moroccan holds more than 100 career kickboxing wins, with more than 90 of those wins coming via knockout.
Also on the pay-per-view portion of the card, welterweight king Nieky Holzken put his title on the line against Cedric Doumbé. That wasn’t the only title fight on the card, as lightweight champion Sittichai Sitsongpeenong took on Marat Grigorian in the main event of the GLORY 36 portion of the card, and the promotion crowned a women’s super bantamweight champion on the pay-per-view portion of the card.
The event kicked off Saturday with the five-fight GLORY 36 main card streaming live on ESPN 3 at 11 a.m. ET. The five-fight GLORY 36 SuperFight Series followed live and free on UFC Fight Pass at 1:30 p.m. ET. Finally, the four-fight GLORY: Collision portion of the event kicked off at 4 p.m. ET, live on pay-per-view.
GLORY: Collision Summary
GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven continued his success in the GLORY ring, as he stopped longtime veteran Badr Hari by second-round TKO. Hari did not come out recklessly like many expected. He stayed outside and peppered Verhoeven with jabs and low kicks. A jab from Hari busted open the nose of Verhoeven. The second round saw Verhoeven begin to open up with his hands. He moved forward and hit Hari with heavy kicks and punches. After a clinch along the ropes, Hari walked back to his corner and pointed at his arm. The referee initiated a count and Hari was unable to continue due to an arm injury.
There’s a new GLORY welterweight champion as Cedric Doumbé unseated Nieky Holzken after five, hard-fought rounds. The first round saw Doumbé throw a plethora of leg kicks, but Holzken countered well with his jab, popping the head of Doumbé. Doumbé continued to land his kicks in the second and third rounds and caught Holzken with uppercuts through the guard. It was more of the same in the fourth round as the kicks of Doumbé appeared to take their toll on Holzken’s movement. Holzken picked up his output in the final round, but he was too far behind on the scorecards. Four of the five judges at ringside rewarded Doumbé for his efforts, crowning him the new champion.
Massive heavyweights Jamal Ben Saddik and Ismael Londt started slow, but finished strong. Londt fired overhand rights in the opening frame, but Ben Saddik was able to avoid the heavy shots. Both men scored with body kicks in the middle stanza, as most of the action took place at distance. In the final round, Londt’s pace waned and Ben Saddik turned up the volume. He repeatedly connected with right hands and Londt began to wobble. With only seconds left in the fight Ben Saddik floored Londt and locked up the decision win.
Tiffany van Soest became the first women’s champion in GLORY history, defeating France’s Amel Dehby by unanimous decision for the super bantamweight title. Van Soest showcased great footwork and movement that frustrated Dehby. The American scored with left head kick in round one and followed it with a heavy right hand. Dehby continued to struggle with her range, as van Soest again landed her right hand. The speed of van Soest was the difference in the final round as Dehby frequently missed with her punches and suffered her first career defeat.
GLORY 36 SuperFight Series Summary
Danyo Ilunga and Michael Duut put on a fight for the ages to close out the SuperFight Series. The pair swung for the fences from the opening bell. Duut was the first to connect, dropping Ilunga with a left hook. Ilunga recovered and began to batter the Dutchman. The second round saw more heavy shots, but both men managed to stay upright. The third round was pure chaos as Ilunga dropped Duut twice, only to get dropped himself just moments later. The pair continued to trade heavy punches until the final bell of round three. When the scorecards were read, the fight was scored a majority draw and the fight went to an extension round. The pace didn’t slow in the extension round as Ilunga fired knees to the body of Duut, but Duut countered with powerful punches. With just seconds remaining in the round, Duut dropped Ilunga a final time and sealed the win.
Harut Grigorian earned the night’s first finsh as he stopped Danijel Solaja in the first round with a vicious liver punch. Solaja came out firing, but Grigorian returned with heavy shots of his own. Grigorian scored with knees to back Solaja against the ropes. He then attacked the body and Solaja crashed to the canvas. Solaja could not recover and Grigorian took the TKO win.
The second super bantamweight semifinal between France’s Amel Dehby and Holland’s Isis Verbeek was a very deliberate and measured fight. Dehby surprisingly marched forward as Verbeek backed herself against the ropes with regularity. Dehby tried to counter, but Verbeek was throwing infrequently. The pair matched one another’s single strikes throughout, but it was Dehby’s advance that swayed the judges in her favor.
Tiffany van Soest moved to the super bantamweight final with a lopsided decision win over Canada’s Jessica Gladstone. Van Soest used her speed and movement to stay on the outside, preventing Gladstone from mounting offense. Gladstone repeatedly looked for a jab-cross combination, but van Soest was able to avoid the punches and counter with a leg kick. Van Soest looked for a spinning backfist multiple times, but Gladstone was wise to it. After three rounds, the result was never in doubt as van Soest advanced.
Kicking off the SuperFight Series, the promotion’s youngest fighter, Tyjani Beztati, used his massive height and reach advantage to best Andrej Bruhl. Beztati battered Bruhl in the first round with punches and kicks before dropping him late in the frame with a devastating knee. Bruhl recovered, but still found himself getting beat up on the outside by Beztati in round two. Bruhl went for broke in round three, wobblying Beztati with an overhand right late in the fight. It was too little, too late, however as Beztati claimed the decision win.
GLORY 36 Summary
GLORY lightweight champion Sittichai Sitsongpeenong retained his title by defeating Marat Grigorian for the third time. Grigorian started strong, throwing power punches and countering with inside low kicks. Sittichai found his range in the second round and began to slow Grigorian’s advance with knees to the body. The champion also used his straight left punch to keep Grigorian on the outside. Grigorian kept firing the low kicks, but Sittichai was unfazed and took home the win on the judges’ scorecards.
Dylan Salvador captured the lightweight contender tournament crown by outworking Hysni Beqiri in the final. Salvador was very patient as Beqiri threw with power early in the fight. Salvador attacked the body with hooks and continued to fire low kicks. Beqiri’s output slowed more and more as the fight progressed and Salvador took home the lopsided win to earn a future title shot.
Featherweight Fabio Pinca earned his first GLORY victory and his second career win over Mosab Amrani with a dominant performance. Amrani came out firing wild punches to the head and body of Pinca. Pinca showcased great footwork and head movement to avoid the onslaught and counter with punches and low kicks. Pinca was methodical with his attack, slowing the always explosive Amrani. By the final round, Amrani struggled to stay standing as Pinca cruised to the decision win.
Hysni Beqiri used a big first round to overcome an aggressive Antonio Gomez in the other half of the lightweight contender tournament. Beqiri controlled range in the opening round, battering Gomez with heavy shots and earning a knockdown from a massive right hand. Gomez rebounded in round two, pushing the pace and scoring with combinations. The pace slowed in the final stanza, but Beqiri did enough to earn the nod from the judges.
Dylan Salvador and Anatoly Moiseev opened the lightweight contender tournament with a back-and-forth battle. Moiseev was the aggressor, firing combinations from the opening bell. Salvador showcased great defense and patiently countered with low kicks and well-timed knees. Salvador increased his output as the fight progressed, earning the decision win and the spot in the finals.
Rico Verhoeven def. Badr Hari by TKO (arm injury). Round 2, 1:22
Cedric Doumbé def. Nieky Holzken by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47, 48-47, 48-46) – for welterweight title
Jamal Ben Saddik def. Ismael Londt by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Tiffany van Soest def. Amel Dehby by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27) – super bantamweight grand prix final
Michael Duut def. Danyo Ilunga by extra round unanimous decision (10-8 x5)
Harut Grigorian def. Danijel Solaja by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:01
Amel Dehby def. Isis Verbeek by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28) – super bantamweight grand prix semifinal
Tiffany van Soest def. Jessica Gladstone by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27) – super bantamweight grand prix semifinal
Tyjani Beztati def. Andrej Bruhl by unanimous decision (29-27 x5)
Sittichai Sitsongpeenong def. Marat Grigorian by split decision (49-46, 47-48, 48-47, 49-47, 48-47) – for lightweight title
Dylan Salvador def. Hysni Beqiri by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28) – lightweight tournament final
Fabio Pinca def. Mosab Amrani by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Hysni Beqiri def. Antonio Gomez by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26, 29-27, 30-26) – lightweight tournament semifinal
Dylan Salvador def. Anatoly Moiseev by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-29) – lightweight tournament semifinal
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